Home > Kregel, Reviews > Apostle of the Last Days by C. Marvin Pate

Apostle of the Last Days by C. Marvin Pate


Paul’s life, letters, and theology are unified by the theme of the overlapping of two ages—this age and the age to come. With the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the age to come (i e , kingdom of God) broke into this present age but didn’t end it. Where other important doctrines such as justification by faith, reconciliation, and the cross of Christ were key players in Paul’s theology, Marvin Pate compellingly demonstrates that the overarching theme driving the Pauline corpus was indeed Paul’s inaugurated eschatology. In fact, Paul’s apocalyptic framework was only one of a number of other rival eschatologically focused religious perspectives of the day, such as the Imperial Cult, Hellenistic/syncretistic religion, and the merkabah Judaizers. Paul’s vigorous debates with the churches he served centered on the exclusivity of the gospel of Christ that he preached: the non-negotiable apocalypse of Jesus the Messiah. Apostle of the Last Days will be welcomed in the classroom as a one-volume treatment of Paul’s life and letters as well as his theology. (From the Publisher’s Website)


“ A funny thing happened to Paul the Pharisee on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians-he got saved through an encounter with the risen Christ. There Paul surrendered to the crucified Jesus who was none other than the glorious Lord and, in a divine touche, Paul the Gentile-basher was there and then called to be an apostle to the nations. In the flash of an instant, Paul exchanged the law of Moses for faith in Christ, hatred of non-Jews for love of the church, the land of Israel for the kingdom of God, and circumcision and the old covenant for the cross of calvary. Paul’s encounter with the risen Jesus was nothing short of both a conversion and a calling. Indeed, God’s setting apart of Paul to preach to the Gentiles the gospel of Jesus Christ was the beginning of the fulfillment of the end-time prophecy of the conversion of the nations predicted by Old Testament prophets like Isaiah, Micah, and others.” (From the Introduction, page 10)


There are many wonderful themes woven throughout the writings of the apostle Paul. One of those is eschatology. I have often wanted to understand this on a deeper level while studying the Pauline corpus. Dr. Pate has already done this work and has now made it available to us in Apostle of the Last Days: the Life, Letters, and Theology of Paul.

In this book, Dr. Pate examines Paul’s eschatology in comparison to the competing eschatologies of the Hellenistic religion, the Roman Imperial Cult, the Merkabah Judaizers, and the non-Merkabah Judaizers. The reader is given a good grounding in Paul’s inaugurated eschatology and how that clashed with these competing doctrines. Dr. Pate examines Paul’s writings letter by letter extracting his inaugurated eschatology and shows us how that played out in the various cities and cultural settings in which the recipients of these letters lived. The reader is then treated to a section on Paul’s theology in a systematic structure and how his inaugurated eschatology impacts the various doctrines.

This book is designed for the serious student of scripture. I felt at times that it was a little over my head but I kept pushing on and found the effort worth it. This book has helped me find the cohesiveness in Paul’s eschatology. I would heartily recommend this book to any who want to understand Paul and his theology. I will be using it as a reference in my future studies of the Pauline corpus. Once again Kregel has proven their commitment to academic excellence by publishing this highly useful book. Thank you Dr. Pate and Kregel for making this resource available to the church.

Book Details:

  • Author: C. Marvin Pate

  • Publisher: Kregel

  • Format: Paperback

  • Page Count: 272

  • ISBN#: 9780825438929

  • List Price: $22.99

About the Author:

C. Marvin Pate (PhD, Marquette University) is professor of biblical studies at Ouachita Baptist University. He is the author and editor of numerous works, including Four Views on the Book of Revelation; The Writings of John: A Survey of the Gospel, Epistles, and Apocalypse; Romans (Teach the Text Commentary Series); and From Plato to Jesus. (From the Publisher’s Website)

Where to Buy:

Disclaimer: I received this book from Kregel in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Categories: Kregel, Reviews
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